Poll votes against open age Winter League

Winter League

Over the last few days we have conducted an online poll to test out the suggestion that the Winter League should become an open-age competition. Currently you have to be 60 or over to qualify to play in the League.

We had 30 responses to the poll. Of those 26 were from people aged 60 or over with the other 4 all falling into the 50-59 age bracket. This doesn't give the impression that there are a lot of under-60s interested in the Winter League. There were just 8 responses that backed the suggestion of opening up the age barrier to anyone of any age. That left 22 that felt the age limit should remain in force.

To get the League to make any rule change requires a 51% vote in favour so this early tester is some way short of that target. This poll is not meant to be conclusive on this suggestion but it does provide some indication of how people are thinking and is a guide to what the likely outcome of a binding vote might be.

All responders were also invited to add any comments they wished to make on the subject. Some did and they are listed below.

  • I have voted no but you could go down to 55 if the league expands.

  • Hoping to join the winter league this next season and opening up to younger bowlers would be an unfair advantage to the vets who started the league in the first place

  • The last 2 seasons have been played in a very nice friendly atmosphere, I think bringing younger players in my lead to a more serious and 'win at all cost' attitude. Why spoil something that appears to be working very well and is building into a good league.

  • Surely the more bowlers the better. A good example is Hove Edge Winter League which is very successful.

  • I have always felt that the Winter League should be open to all age groups and welcome this debate

  • If younger bowlers want to play in the winter then the Huddersfield League should put feelers out to see if its viable. The winter league is okay as it is if younger bowlers come in and form very strong teams then a lot of the older bowlers will give up like they have done in the present Saturday League

  • Open age would make an even bigger disparity for the older end to overcome. I am an advocate of a handicapping system to make vets bowling fairer for all, not less so. There is for instance a tremendous physical and mental difference between a fit and healthy 60yr old and likewise 75yr old. This difference becomes larger as bowlers get even older, and any attempt to make our league 'Open' would make this problem even greater and might even discourage a considerable number of vets. We need a more level playing field for vets bowlers, not a move that will exacerbate the inability to compete due to no fault other than the coming of old age.

  • You need all the bowlers you can get, no point in being age-restricted. It may allow those who retire early, work part-time or from home to join in.

  • Keep to over 60

  • Younger bowlers have a better chance of reaching corners etc on heavy winter greens. The discussion re a 35meter length was subsequently not passed. Perhaps a vets winter league and an under 60 league.

  • Its hard enough playing younger bowlers on running greens in the summer without having to play them on slow greens where they would outthrow most seniors in the corners

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